More than six years after Prince Rogers Nelson unexpectedly died and left no will, the court case surrounding the music legend's estate has come to an end.
"Prince can now rest in peace," his half-sister, Sharon Nelson, said after a hearing Friday in Carver County District Court.
The biggest controversies — the value of Prince's estate and who is entitled to what — were settled in January.
Friday's hearing cleared a path for the disbursement of Prince's assets and ending Comerica Bank's oversight as estate administrator.
"There has never been a probate case in Minnesota as complicated as this one," said Joe Cassioppi, an attorney from Fredrikson & Byron representing Comerica in the case.
The $156.4 million estate will be split between Prince's three oldest siblings or their families and New York music company Primary Wave. After taxes and other liabilities, court documents show about $104.8 million was available for distribution as of January.
With the estate dispute now over, long-delayed projects focused on Prince and his legacy can proceed. Control over four of the musician's businesses will be split between Primary Wave and his family heirs.
"Our goal is to work collaboratively with them to continue to build and to grow Prince's legacy as a 50% owner," said Primary Wave's attorney, Eric Magnuson. "We have the best interests of everyone in mind as we move forward."
Attorney L. Londell McMillan, who represents the family heirs and who also has a stake in the estate, said both sides "will work together as amicably as possible."
"Prince was a great man," he said. "He was and still is the greatest artist and musician who ever lived, in my opinion."
Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park mansion in Chanhassen in April 2016.
It took a year just to identify the singer's six heirs. Some people came to the Carver County courthouse "asking for the keys to Paisley Park," Cassioppi said.
The ensuing court battle over the control and disbursement of Prince's wealth, property, music rights and other issues racked up tens of millions of dollars in legal and administrative fees.
Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, sold most of her stake in the estate to Primary Wave, as did Alfred Jackson and Omarr Baker.
Two of Prince's heirs — John R. Nelson and Jackson — died while the case was ongoing. McMillan urged legislators to look at reforming probate laws to speed the process and lessen the burden on elderly heirs.
Judge Kevin Eide said all sides "moved mountains" to achieve Friday's final stipulation agreement and reach a relatively amicable end to the dispute. None of the family members at the hearing spoke when offered the chance as the case came to an end.
"Free at last," Sharon Nelson said afterward.